Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

April 24th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

Our News at Eleven section is name dropping this week: Osip Mandelstam, Dannie Abse, Philip Larkin, Wendell Berry, Kevin Young, and Günter Grass. Let's add to this list Cengiz Dagci, Peter Redgrove, and A.M. Klein. We begin with the big name, Liu Xiaobo, still being held by the obstinate individuals who are running things in China.

We also have a WWII theme running through some of our stories, the bombing of England, Germans against Jews, the Soviets versus Germany, and others. This leads into Bryan Appleyard's article linked to in our Great Regulars section, which shows, among other things, how WWII changes the way we read Shakespeare. Keep reading through Great Regulars, and you'll find some excellent poetry, one by former U.S. poet laureate Reed Whittemore who passed away this month. And more name dropping, Seamus Heaney and Billy Collins, for instance.

It's a full week for poetry news. I'll let you get to your reading. Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: On the occasion of the April 17th evening's

"Art against censorship in China" special event at the Jeu de Paume national gallery in Paris, the human rights groups that form the Liu Xiaobo Support Committee, together with Amnesty International and well-known figures call on the Chinese authorities to free the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, who has been jailed since December 2008 and who is serving an 11-year sentence. They also reaffirm their support for his wife, Liu Xia, who is currently under house arrest.

from Reporters Without Borders: Statement by the Liu Xiaobo Support Committee and Amnesty International France


News at Eleven: "Like the people of Santiago de Chile,

Dubrovnik, Guernica, Warsaw and Berlin, Londoners have suffered heavy aerial bombing and theirs has been a city under siege. Casagrande brings Rain of Poems to London as an expression of peace and healing.

"And, as has been the case with every Rain of Poems so far, we guarantee that there will not be a single poem left once the half an hour is over." [--Julio Carrasco]

from London SE1: Helicopter to drop 100,000 poems on South Bank to launch Poetry Parnassus


News at Eleven: Consider such phrases as these: "the old lullaby of alibis"

or "the kisslessness/Of emptiness" or "Choice roses chucked from Rolls-Royces" or even "the wheeze and laze of asthmatic days." Sometimes the lines are neatly satirical: "To pose under a portico in a nimbus/Of self and with a dead animal for a hat." Others are full of black humor: "the splendid official, who on a lark/Hopped a daytime train without his papers,/Now pickaxes ice with a quiet tribe of lepers." Some pack a story into a simile: "Like a happy man undone by an alley-flash of lace."

from The Washington Post: Osip Mandelstam: 'Stolen Air: Selected Poems'


News at Eleven: For [Peter] Redgrove's admirers, this meant

a magical gift for reimagining reality, issuing in a poetry of exuberant wonder and celebration. There is no doubt that Redgrove possessed that gift; it is evident in the "Grand Buveur" poems and in, for example, "Thrust and Glory", about a "longhaired hog", its "hairs as harsh as fingernails/Like coarse reeds on a hump of the bog". Redgrove imagines the hog's virility as a storm that "rains pigs", and ends with a typical description of mud, "glorious with rain-shine, pig-grease and wallow".

from The Times Literary Supplement: Saving Peter Redgrove from oblivion


News at Eleven: Philip Larkin's body of work is so slender

and, often, so seemingly slight, so devoid of belly fat and blather, as to make Elizabeth Bishop (whom I now think of as his nearest American counterpart) look like a blimp and a bigmouth. Of the 730 pages of "The Complete Poems," a mere 90 are taken up by those poems Larkin saw fit to collect in his lifetime. One of the main challenges posed by this edition is that it asks us to reconcile the discrepancy between those slim 90 pages and the sprawling rest.

from The New York Times: These Be the Verses


News at Eleven: "The two great aims of industrialism--

replacement of people by technology and concentration of wealth into the hands of a small plutocracy--seem close to fulfillment," Mr. [Wendell] Berry said. "At the same time the failures of industrialism have become too great and too dangerous to deny. Corporate industrialism itself has exposed the falsehood that it ever was inevitable or that it ever has given precedence to the common good."

The Jefferson Lecture "is the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities," according to the NEH, which sponsors it every year.

from The Chronicle of Higher Education: 'We All Are Implicated': Wendell Berry Laments a Disconnection From Community and the Land


News at Eleven: What does the trickster-curator want?

For one thing, to overthrow the literary executor of black writing. To [Kevin] Young, white critics who read slave narratives "simply in terms of authenticity do two quite damaging things: first, they read (white) skepticism back into the slave's writing and thus limit the 'freedom' of black authorship; second, they ignore or downplay the African-American trickster tradition, itself related to black rhetorical strategies like lying." It is not just creation per se but specifically creation of the counterfeit that "provides a means of black acquisition of authority (even as so-called authenticity is called into question)."

from The New York Times: Race, the Remix


News at Eleven: "As to my book--may my publisher

be drowned in ink, may he be crushed between presses, may the printer's devil take him--he is giving me the runaround." So he [A.M. Klein] wrote in 1938 to Joseph Frank, an old friend from his days in Canadian Young Judea. To Solomon Grayzel, his editor at JPS, he directed a similar complaint: "Is there anything new, or does your committee insist that the book be published posthumously?" Advised by James Laughlin at New Directions to turn the other cheek to a hostile reviewer, he replied, "I turn him all four."

from The Jewish Daily Forward: A Poem of One's Own


News at Eleven: Laughter is a major element of [Dannie] Abse's

artistry, along with never holding a grudge. This all becomes clear in his introduction to a poem, "Jealous Adam," by Czernowitz-born Yiddish author Itsik Manger as translated by Jacob Sonntag, who founded London's The Jewish Quarterly. In his note, Abse relates with gentle wit his first meeting with Manger, in the 1940s: "Lubricated with vodka, [Manger] promptly punched me on the jaw because I was young and wrote poetry!"

from The Jewish Daily Forward: Dannie Abse Brings Jewish Twist to Wales


News at Eleven: "And today the issue is not the attacks

on the Jews but the violent attack on the Jewish state, which is accompanied by the same vilification, the same slanders," he said. "And those now who agree with Günter Grass about the Jewish state should ask themselves if they wouldn't have agreed with the slanders against the Jewish people in the time of the Holocaust."

from The Times of Israel: PM, in German interview, defends decision to bar Grass
then The Age: What must be said remains unspeakable
then The Christian Science Monitor: What Günter Grass must say about Israel


News at Eleven (Back Page): [Zafer] Karatay filmed his documentary during

 [Cengiz] Dagci's lifetime, before the poet passed away in September 2011. The 59-minute movie brings back Dagci's memories of growing up under the regime of Josef Stalin and also his testimony of the misery and wretchedness of life in Nazi labor camps. The film first premiered in April 2011, but Karatay emphasizes that, at that time, the movie was not quite finished. He explains that the documentary actually was not complete until Dagci's funeral-- "a wedding with his much beloved homeland"--which saw the poet's body returned to a gravesite in Gruzuf, Crimea after 72 years of homesickness.

from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Al Jazeera Film Festival To Screen RFE/RL Correspondent's Documentary


Great Regulars: The second world war further encouraged

our obsession. One of the most celebrated productions of The Duchess of Malfi, at the Haymarket theatre, appeared three weeks before the German surrender in 1945, just as the pictures of the con­centration camps were appearing in the papers. "This time," wrote the critic Leah Sinanoglou Marcus, "when audiences saw the 'heap of corpses on which the final curtain falls', they did not laugh as pre-war audiences frequently had: art had imitated life with horrifying visual clarity."

from Bryan Appleyard: from The Sunday Times: Jacobean Blood


Great Regulars: Ted Hughes's 92-year-old brother, Gerald,

is writing a memoir about the two boys' country upbringing, which will show how the poet's well-known love of nature developed in childhood.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Ted Hughes's brother to publish memoir


Great Regulars: Opening his tribute, the great guru says

that if he "must put on mortal garb once more," that is, if he must be born on this earth again, he does not seek to limit the Divine with any wish to be born comfortably. He does not pray that the land in which he is reborn is a happy place, "where the musk of happiness blows." He does not ask to be shielded "from darkness and fears." He will not wish to return only to a "land of prosperity."

from Linda Sue Grimes: Suite101.com: Paramahansa Yogananda's My India


Great Regulars: The Coming of Light

by Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Coming of Light by Mark Strand


Days End
by Alden Nowlan

for Anne

I have worked since daylight in the hayfields.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Days End by Alden Nowlan


Everything but God
by Anne Pierson Wiese

In Europe you can see cathedrals

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Everything but God by Anne Pierson Wiese


For the Life of Him and Her
by Reed Whittemore

For the life of her she couldn't decide what to wear to the party.

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: For the Life of Him and Her by Reed Whittemore


Here I Am
by Michael Ryan

on a subway station bench

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Here I Am by Michael Ryan


Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds
by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds by William Shakespeare


The Starfish
by Robert Bly

It is low tide. Fog. I have climbed down the cliffs

from Garrison Keillor: The Writer's Almanac: The Starfish by Robert Bly


Great Regulars: Here's a fine poem about family love

and care by Janet Eigner, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. You can feel that blessing touch the crown of your head, can't you?

Isaac's Blessing

from Ted Kooser: American Life in Poetry: Column 370


Great Regulars: Carl Little is not only an accomplished poet

but a widely published author of books about the painters of Maine. In today's column, he describes how peepers "fling their music" during early spring. Note how his poem flings its own joyful music across line breaks and stanza divisions.

Zones of Peeper

from Wesley McNair: The Portland Press Herald: Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry


Great Regulars: An attempt by China's outspoken artist

and social activist Ai Weiwei to challenge a multimillion tax evasion fine has hit an apparent dead end: the authorities have required him to produce a company stamp which was confiscated months ago by police.

Last month, authorities in Beijing upheld a U.S. $2.4 million tax evasion fine issued to Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., a company which Ai founded, and which is now legally owned by his wife, Lu Qing.

Now, a Beijing court has ruled that Ai's lawsuit challenging the fine is invalid in the absence of the company seal.

from Luisetta Mudie: Radio Free Asia: Lost Seal Plagues Artist's Tax Case


Great Regulars: This Poetry Pairing matches the 2008 poem

"Trout" by Kathryn Starbuck with the New York Times article "In Yellowstone, Killing One Kind of Trout to Save Another."

from Holly Epstein Ojalvo: The New York Times: Poetry Pairing: 'Trout'


Great Regulars: "Coming" [by Philip Larkin] therefore gives us

a kind of circular thought process: Spring makes us happy, but it is irrational happiness--but it is still happiness . . . and so on. Those competing conclusions churn beneath the smooth surface of the poem and give it a rotating force that is practically seasonal.

Larkin revisits this idea more explicitly about 20 years later in his second great spring poem, "The Trees."

from David Orr: NPR: Grief In Greenness: Two Melancholy Poems Of Spring


Great Regulars: You can almost see Margery spinning

out of James's clutch as she yells, "Tilly, vally, straw, let be I say!" The rage and brutality in the poem cohabit with a certain lust for the life of the senses, and certainly a lust for language. Our Laureate of rhetoric knows how to work with the torsion of argument, but his ultimate triumph as a poet is that his metrical feet are on the ground--and that ground is the rich soil of the English vernacular.

Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale by John Skelton


Great Regulars: The second stunner is that,

between that and Burnett's excellent "Commentary" (page 333), we encounter a mass of unpublished work, things Burnett and others have found in papers, letters, the dog-ends of a life. I can see why Larkin held much of it back. Some is unfinished. Some's pretty darn catty. Some exhibits a dismaying sexual immaturity. And some fails to edit out the self-pity spectacularly absent in his best work.

Still: There are some true gems, and it's well worth knocking about among these lesser-knowns.

from John Timpane: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Collected Philip Larkin: A sobering triumph of exquisitely finished poems


[by Scott McVay]


What are maps

from John Timpane: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Scott McVay reads 'Maps': What are maps after all but metaphors?


You could tour visit of these corners of the Philly poetry garden and be lost in delight for days--without leaving your computer screen. Why not go to philly.com's poetry page (see above), and explore an issue of Apiary (born 2010)? It's all Philly, with blogs, photos, vids, and a calendar of local poetry events. Cofounders Lillian Dunn and Tamara Oakman say they started Apiary "because we wanted to showcase this city's huge diversity of literary communities . . . including the spoken-word poets, young people, and new writers who might not usually submit work to a literary magazine."

from John Timpane: The Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly online poetry magazines: A garden of many delights


Great Regulars: Naturally, this got me to thinking

about the only self I have first-hand knowledge of, my own.

I started wondering if I had found myself, created myself, or stolen myself. My considered opinion is "all of the above."

But the least important factor seems to have been the creative one.

from Frank Wilson: When Falls the Coliseum: That's What He Said: Playing the role of yourself


Great Regulars: [D.A.] Powell's texts are full of raunchy riffs,

but they're also scathing, blistered with the injustices of California, the built-over beauty of California, the dead ends of California. A haunting poem entitled only "A Brief History of Internment" reads "Hence the wild daikon./We've made the landscape mean here./And  then we put down roots." In another poem, the kiwi fruit arrives from Australia, just as Central Valley boys, barely ripened themselves, are sent to Vietnam.

from The Barnes and Noble Review: Useless Landscape: A Guide for Boys


Great Regulars: By Yossi Huttler

between Pesach and Shavuos

from Forward: The Arty Semite: Poem: 'Sefirah 5704'


Great Regulars: [by Huang Canran]


Two friends, who hadn't met in a year

from Granta: Solitude


Great Regulars: By Kristina Lugn,

translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel  April 15, 2012

Those green Huldra

from Guernica: Poetry: [Those green Huldra]


Watching the Dive Team Practice after Covering a Friend's Class

By Austin Segrest  April 15, 2012

the day of "Song of Myself,"

from Guernica: Poetry: Watching the Dive Team Practice after Covering a Friend's Class


Great Regulars: by Peter Branson,

For Kristy

Was it because they could, mere whim, this pair

from Morning Star: Well Versed: Kindoki


Great Regulars: Read by NPR's John Ydstie

"Failing and Flying" from Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert, copyright 2012 by Jack Gilbert.

from NPR: Press-Play Poetry: 'Failing And Flying'


Great Regulars: [by Michael McDowell]

Come hike with me and be my love

from The Oregonian: Poetry: The Passionate Hiker to His Love


Great Regulars: By Marianne Boruch

I lost my pen, I lost my keys,

from PBS: Newshour: Weekly Poem: 'I lost my pen, I lost my keys'


Great Regulars: [by Isabel Grasso]

Boom, Boom, Boomerang

from Portsmouth Herald News: Poem: Boom, Boom, Boomerang


[by Mike Rogers]

First Date

from Portsmouth Herald News: Random Acts of Poetry: First Date


Great Regulars: By Val Battenburg

Now that the driver's seat

from Post-Bulletin: Poem: On the Road


Great Regulars: [by Cyra Dumitru]

Seen at the McNay Museum of Modern Art

"Spring Morning 1909" painted by Childe Hassam

It seems you could thrust your hand through her,

from San Antonio Express-News: Poem: 'Seen at the McNay'


Great Regulars: "Foundling"

By Billy Collins

from Slate: "Foundling"


Great Regulars: But this interrogation of faith offers,

perhaps, a kind of "reassurance", too: humans continue to find comfort and pleasure in the "held note or held line"; we return to songs and poems again and again in spite of our doubts.

[by Seamus Heaney]

Small Fantasia for W. B.

from The Times Literary Supplement: Poem of the Week: "Small Fantasia for W. B."


Great Regulars: [by Paula Loveridge]

(Hosting part of cycling event in Olympics)

from West Sussex Gazette: Poem of the Week: Boxhill in Surrey


Poetic Obituaries: [Norma Mary Burdick] hobbies included collecting

sea shells, watching birds and writing poetry. She had a book of poetry printed in 1988.

from The Evening Tribune: Norma Mary Burdick


Poetic Obituaries: The dissertation was to have focused on

[Samuel Taylor] Coleridge's extraordinary burst of literary production in a 14-month span across 1797--98 that produced such masterpieces as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, "Kubla Khan," the first part of Christabel, and "Frost at Midnight." But in examining Coleridge's letters and notebooks in relation to his poems, Fruman found a disturbing pattern of misdated poems, misrepresented facts, ideas Coleridge claimed as his own that were clearly the work of others, and frequent, indignant protestations that credit for the ideas and works of others properly belonged to him. As shocked by his findings as would be his eventual readers, Fruman came to the disturbing but inescapable conclusion that Coleridge was throughout his life and career a serial plagiarist and habitual liar.

from LagunaBeachPatch: Passings: Norman Fruman, 88, Coleridge Biographer and Educator


Poetic Obituaries: [Said] Hassan [Ustad]'s family members

said he was the author of two Pashto poetry books 'Ahoona au Soroona' and 'Ranga Rang Khyalona'.

Professor Wazir Shadan and Professor Banaras Khan, two other Pashto poets, wrote a biography of Said Hassan Ustad. Titled 'Zond aur Fun', it details the late poet's life.

from Pakistan Today: Pashto poet Said Hassan Ustad laid to rest


Poetic Obituaries: [Erik Lemke] has worked for A.C.T

of Iowa City for a number of years, most recently as a Test Development Associate; he also loved his continued association with the Writers' Workshop, and his contribution as a consultant to Fallen Dominion Studios. Erik had many passions in his lifetime: literature, playing his guitar, listening and sharing his music playlists, and as an avid reader he enjoyed sharing thoughts through a book club he recently organized with friends.

from Iowa City Press Citizen: Erik Lemke, 32


Poetic Obituaries: [Gajanan] Shere, who retired from the PWD

department, had 10 books to his credit. He had a keen interest in classical music and was the winner of Pakshi-mitra and Paryavaran-mitra awards.

from IBN Live: Environmentalist Gajanan Shere passes away


Poetic Obituaries: And here she is on a phenomenon

of our times, in "The Terrorist, He's Watching": "The bomb in the bar will explode at thirteen twenty./Now it's just thirteen sixteen./There's still time for some to go in,/and some to come out." After describing the lucky ones who go out and the unlucky ones who go in, and the unluckiest of all, the one who returns for "his crummy gloves," the bomb does what it must: "it explodes."

from The Huffington Post: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel Poet: An Appreciation


Poetic Obituaries: A lover of poetry and the English language,

young [Lee] Westcott had his beginnings at Convent High School where he was encouraged by his mentor, Mother Mary Ambrosine.

He subsequently went on to publish three books of poetry, two of which are no longer available. In recognition of his work, he was awarded in 2005/2006 the UNESCO prize for Best Book of Poetry, Garden of Life.

from Antigua Observer: Developer and poet Lee Westcott dies ~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17th Poetic Ticker Clicking

News Article Tape:
Blog Entry Tape:

April 17th forum announcement

Dear Poetry Aficionados,

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog

We begin this week with a very cool 40th birthday present. Tracy K. Smith was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry just yesterday, on her birthday. You'll also find Hillel Italie reporting on the Pulitzer announcements in our Great Regulars section.

It's a week of important stories from previous weeks, carrying through and developing. The deaths of Reed Whittemore and Adrienne Rich continue to conjure important tributes for our reading. Those are in our Poetic Obituaries section.

To cross the pond, reaction to the Günter Grass poem continues to develop. We have a clutch of links on our Back Page, the eleventh story in News at Eleven. You'll also find that Great Regular Alison Flood brings us a development twist on the Grass story.

We have so much more. Our second item, for instance, is an interview with poetry by Philip Levine. And there are dozens more articles. I'll let you get to your reading.

Thanks for clicking in.


Our links:

IBPC: Poetry & Poets in Rags

Poetry & Poets in Rags blog



News at Eleven: Tracy K. Smith, an assistant professor

of creative writing in Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts, today won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for "Life on Mars," which the prize committee calls "a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain."

from News at Princeton: Princeton's Tracy K. Smith wins Pulitzer Prize for poetry
then New York Daily News: Brooklyn poet Tracy K. Smith wins Pulitzer on her birthday


News at Eleven: I have surreal elements in my work due

to the influence of [César] Vallejo, a Peruvian poet I translated. In 20th-century English there was so much experimentation that proved successful but we didn't follow through on. Like Williams and [Wallace] Stevens, their free verse feels so authentic to me. My first two books had rhyme and meter--I was a very disciplined writer because my life was so chaotic. But once my life got a real form and I knew where the next meal was coming from and I was teaching, then I got looser.

Library Days

from Tablet: Philip Levine, Fierce About Poetry


News at Eleven: In a book from which I have learned much,

The Poetry Home Repair Manual, [Ted] Kooser confesses: "I've inadvertently written lots of poems that meant nothing to anybody else, and I've mailed those poems to editors from coast to coast, hoping that they would be published, only to realize when they were rejected that I'd written them just for myself. . . . You choose what to write and how to write it, but if you want to earn an audience for your work, you need to think about the interests, expectations and needs of others, as well as how you present yourself to them."

from The Salt Lake Tribune: Ted Kooser: A kindly uncle of a poet


News at Eleven: Geoffrey Brock, editor of the elegantly

conceived FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry, begins his "Note on Translation" by turning against Frost's formulation of poetry as what is lost in translation. "The translator's task," says Brock, is "not to prevent that loss but to create an entirely new body of sounds." Translators of poetry "must also be poets," he emphasizes, and translations worth reading cannot be other than "real poems in English." This is a demanding set of criteria, and Brock echoes the generous language of the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott (who coined the phrase "good enough mother") when he says that translators must be "good enough" poets.

from The Nation: Among the Tufted Canes: Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry


News at Eleven: Indeed, [Peter] Cole's multifaceted elucidation

of these jewels shows that he recognizes mystical composition to be a kind of theological poetry. It's a lyric art form that seeks to express the abiding mystery and revelatory quest of the spiritual life. As Bialik communicates in "The Pool," the mystic has much in common with the artist, seeking as he does to give voice to the intuition of "sacred mystery," the illuminative experience of divine presence. The associative and lush imagination of mystical authors, the network of symbolic language, far more resembles the process of lyric expression than it does that of logic and philosophy.

from The Jewish Daily Forward: Giving Voice to Kabbalah Masters


News at Eleven: What this "mystical experience" might feel like,

and what the "aural kaleidoscope" might look and sound like, can be seen in her [Hope Mirrlees'] long poem "Paris", written in 1919 and published by Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1920. Woolf called it "indecent, obscure, brilliant", and the poem describes (the word "describes" is inadequate: it dynamically enacts, verbally and with an array of compelling visual and typographical effects) a day in post-first world war Paris.

from The Guardian: Collected Poems by Hope Mirrlees


News at Eleven: [Cristanne] Miller adds that metrical

irregularity and innovation in rhythm and rhyme are also cited as extraordinary qualities in [Emily] Dickinson's work, but she says that in the United States at that time "poetry was marked by significant innovations in meter and form. In fact, in going through her schoolbooks I was struck by how many quite irregular poems and short-lined verse forms were used as examples for students to imitate."

Even the use of the slant or oblique rhyme that mark so much of her poetry was not an entirely uncommon device, Miller says, although Dickinson used it to far more striking and unsettling effect.

from UB Reporter: Scholar challenges popular ideas about Emily Dickinson


News at Eleven: So [Paul] Durcan doesn't see praise

and death as incompatible?

"Oh no," he says, looking shocked. "Oh, no. I mean, I'm constantly amazed at John Moriarty's embrace of death and life so that he didn't see any division. As a human creature he feared the physical, the actual moments of death, as any creature would. But otherwise he lived it all his life--and, of course, wrote about it. I always aspire to even a nugget of that, because I find it very hard. And my own inner terror of death, terror of suicide, depression and all of that--that's all part of it."

from The Irish Times: Songs of dark experience, and innocence